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Thursday, November 4, 2010

There's Only One "S" In Saving

OK, y'all. It appears that for my entire life I have been suffering from the misconception that there is such a thing as Daylight Savings Time. Well, that just isn't so. The correct name for the devilment that occurs yet again this weekend is Daylight Saving Time--no extra "s." While you try to remember where you put the directions on how to change the clock on your car radio, let me fill you in on a few other DST nuggets.
  • You remember Benjamin Franklin? Funny hair, glasses, one of the founding fathers of our country, invented things? Franklin penned an article that proposed “earlier opening and closing of shops to save the cost of lighting" while he was the American minister to France (Columbia).
  • Every spring and fall I try to remember when the big dates are. Every spring and every fall I can't remember without asking at least 20 other people who, guess what!, can't remember either. Here it is:

          I'm sure we could come up with an easy mnemonic to remember this... Tracy suggests starting with "The first Sunday of November is the day I can't remember." A gold star to whomever can find a good rhyme line for March!
  • If you venture forth to western Europe, you'll probably find that Daylight Saving Time starts the last Sunday of March and ends the last Sunday of October (Britannica). I am at a loss to explain why we can come up with standard time zones, but not a standard for saving time.
  • Daylight saving time was first attempted in modern times as a cost-saving method during war. The Germans, British, and Americans, among others, adopted this practice during WWI.
  • Americans also used Daylight Saving Time during WWII and the energy crisis of 1973-74, with many cities and states keeping a version of DST at other times while the rest of the country was not. All states except Arizona and Hawaii now follow the federal standard for DST (Columbia).
By the way, I haven't changed my car radio's clock for years. I gleefully ride about with reckless abandon for eight months of the year with the wrong time. I sure am glad I can't get a ticket for that! You try to be a bit more careful with time than me, and don't forget:

Spring Forward! Fall Back!

And you'll be fine!

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009. Credo Reference. Web. 03 November 2010.
"daylight saving time." The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 03 November 2010.

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